Xiphophorus birchmani

Xiphophorus birchmanni Lechner & Radda 1987

Common Name: Sheepshead swordtail

Meaning of Name: Xiphophorus: Greek, xiphos = sword + Greek, pherein = to carry
birchmanni after one of the collectors H.Birchmann.

First Description: First description:First description:P. Lechner & A. C. Radda 1987.Revision des Xiphophorus montezumae/cortezi- Komplexes und Neubeschreibungeiner Sunspezies.St. Gallen, Switzerland’ aquaria 34: 189-96

Synonyms: Xiphophorus montezumae birchmanni (Lechner & Radda 1987)

Type Locality:  Collected by P. Lechner & H. Birchmann 27th April 1987. Rio Talol, Hidalgo State, Mexico.
This is in the headwater of the Rio San Pedro which feeds the Rio Tempoal on to the Rio Panuco.

Size: 50 mm. Females 50 mm

Behaviour: Peaceful

Group: Poeciliidae

Distribution: The southern area of the Rio Panuco drainage & headwaters of the Rio Tuxpan.
Xiphophorus birchmanni can be found in the same waters as X. cortezi at higher elevations & X. malinche at lower elevations.

Populations: Rio Calabozo, Rio Calnalia.

Habitat: Inhabits fast-flowing waters with a sandy substrate combining rocks and dense plant growth.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Colour/Pattern Variability: All members of the cortezi clade have a single zigzag horizontal/lateral stripe which runs from the eye to the caudal peduncle.
Black melanistic blotches can form to any part of the body to form random patterns.

Breeding Notes:

Husbandry: Requires cool conditions and quiet aquariums

Personal experiences:

Terry Hewitt (Fish Ark Bracknell): Hi all, What I have found with this species, is, they are fairly hard to find in the first place, and when I did find them, the young always turned out to be females, even when I split them up and put them in different tanks, with different conditions/temperature etc,  I got 100% females, but when I did get 3 males, to go with my 5 females, the young came thick and fast and I now have a thriving colony.
I have found, they need little or nothing extra, to other Xiphophorus species, it’s just what I find

General Remarks: Has been difficult to get fully established in the UK

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